Political Correction

"Unemployed" Mitt Romney Gets Paid Millions Each Year

December 19, 2011 11:44 am ET - by Jamison Foser

Mitt Romney

The New York Times reports that Mitt Romney still gets paid millions of dollars each year by the private equity firm he left nearly 13 years ago:

In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain's profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney's political aspirations.

Because this qualifies as investment income, Romney likely pays an absurdly low tax rate on his millions of dollars in annual income — which hasn't stopped him from proposing a tax plan that would further help super-rich people like himself.

With that context in mind — Mitt Romney gets paid millions of dollars each year by a company for which he has done no work in more than a decade, and probably pays very little tax on that windfall — it's worth recalling, as Steve Benen did this morning, Romney's response to a group of Floridians describing the difficulties of looking for work earlier this year:

Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.

"I should tell my story," Mr. Romney said. "I'm also unemployed."

It's a lot easier to joke about being unemployed when you're raking in millions of dollars a year and, due to a tax system rigged in favor of the wealthy, paying a lower tax rate than many middle class families.

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